As stated in SWAG's Mission Statement, "...enhancing their natural athletic gifts with competent training." SWAG understands that there is more to just signing up for a combine and attending. These showcases are opportunities to impress recruiters. Consequently, preparation is a MUST! Two days a week, SWAG student athletes are attending speed, agility, quickness, and combine readiness training. The preparation was kicked off by SWAG's 1st Annual Mini Combine.
Video of combine
SWAG hosted its first High School Mini Combine of the year at Veterans Stadium in Merced, CA. With over 70 participants, it gave high school football players in the valley the opportunity to showcase their talents. University of California Bears football players Matt and Aaron Cochran were in attendance. The Cochran brothers spoke and advised the participants on the importance of working hard on and off the field. Also in attendance was the superintendent of Merced Union High School District, Scott Scambray. The combine was filled with big time talent from Merced County. Attendees included Merced High School QB Tyrone Williams Jr., Buchach Colony’s speedster Aundre Sherman, Pacheco’s dual threat QB Juwan Epperson, and Pacheco’s ferocious linebacker Frank Ginda. It also was a chance for a couple of kids coming off injuries to showcase their talent. Pacheco’s RB/LB Kalama Kamoku and Stone Ridge QB Luke Lange showed they are getting ready for next season.
The surprise of the camp was Pacheco’s WR/DB Carlos Garcia. “Garcia showed his blazing speed, with little technique. He is real raw, and needs work with his start. He is potentially a sub 4.5 guy,” stated SWAG community relations coordinator Eddie Fraizer. Garcia turned in the fastest 40 time of the combine at 4.52. During 1 on 1’s and 7 on 7 Garcia made big plays on both offense and defense. “I felt good out there, and really enjoyed the experience,” Garcia stated. Other surprises of the camp were Los Banos freshman DB/RB Deontae Smith, Buhach Colony freshman DB/RB Paul Scoggins, and Golden Valley freshman DB/RB Isaiah Montanez.
NCAA Certified Scout Steven Thompson was in attendance as well. With this being Thompsons first time in Central California, he was very impressed with the athletes’ level of competition. Coach Thompson stated, “Merced county has a lot of hidden talent. This was a great event to showcase the talent. Frank Ginda is a beast. He loves to compete, and I can see him playing at the next level. Carlos Garcia and Deontae Smith really caught my eye of upcoming young talent.” Coach Thompson was also impressed by Frank Ginda’s demonstration of strength. Ginda had 24 reps at 185 pounds.
Strength and conditioning trainer Marcello Martinelli, over saw all of the drills and testing stations. Martinelli also spoke with the participants about nutrition and injury prevention. Martinelli will be working with SWAG athletes twice a week to prepare them for spring combines. “This group is great. I can’t wait to begin working with these athletes. If an athlete commits himself to SWAG’s offseason program, they will be so far ahead at combines, camps, and for the upcoming football season. A lot of hidden talent is in this area,” stated Martinelli.
Ex-Atwater Falcon and Cal Berkeley star Eddie Macha was seen at the event coaching upcoming wide receivers. SWAG’s young group is also very talented. Here are some names to look out for in the near future who participated at the combine: Irik Dobbins, Vincent Alvarez, Richard Roman, Devonte Smith, Julian Diaz, Joshua Doucette, Brandon Doucette, Robert Enriquez, Shane Casillas, and JJ Ramirez. SWAG will begin its offseason workouts January 23, 2014.